Customer Experience: The Next Big Competitive Advantage

Let’s discuss customer experience (CX). According to this post last week, CX is also in danger due to…hype. So I’m reporting to duty to combat this! Plus, yesterday’s community manager hangout about magical customer experiences was encouraging.

customer experience
photo credit: mordefroid via photopin cc
This is not a fancy term for customer service or a fad. It’s a “sleeper” (not widely recognized – like the NIU Huskies football team in the early season). It influences business growth and results through increased conversions, lead generation, brand advocates and more. As Jeannie Walters pointed out yesterday during the hangout, customer service is reactive and customer experience is proactive. You make the first move.

I’m talking about every flipping interaction your potential leads, customers or buddies checking out your website (or store) experiences along the customer journey relevant to you and your business. When you’re there or not. You want to master satisfaction plus some before, during and after the product/service lifecycle. It’s a heavy topic but to give you an idea, here are some touchpoints to consider:

  • Amount of time it takes you to respond to feedback and questions from customers. Ensure a two way street for communication, especially in real time social media. Are you enthusiastic about their happiness factor and eliminating any painful experiences?
  • How easy is it to discover or use the contact form, checkout, download your content offerings or subscribe? If it’s a long and clicky process, fix it.
  • Do you say thank you to your customers and brand advocates? Surprise them once in a while? Keep the romance alive!
  • Sometimes there are breakups. No need to piss them off by ignoring their request to cancel. But you could be kind and clever (i.e. I once saw a webpage asking me to select my reason why I wanted to leave underneath the line “An angel just lost it’s wings today.” Awww.
  • Satisfy the customer’s needs beyond the product. (Dig Hubspot and all their free ebooks beyond their inbound marketing software).
  • Design of your 404 Error Message – Notice how some make you laugh? Or scold you. Like, shame on you for not figuring it out.

It may strike you I’m talking a bit about user experience instead of customer experience ..and that’s not completely wrong. But usability has to mirror the overall experience. In case some people need reminding…. humans still don’t have an app working on the computer for them!

The experience is as essential as the product

Here’s a really great example I came across this week (I am dying to go in geek review mode but it will have to wait).

So the G+ community oneQube beta testers was birthed. I was so impressed with what Robert Moore did when I joined. He announced “Starting today, I am going to post a “oneQube Search of the Day” challenge to get you diving into your followers with different search queries. Today’s challenge is to see how many of your followers refer bacon!”  See what he did there? Instead of setting up a place to only discuss bugs, share tips and gather feature requests he went the extra mile to keep us motivated to master oneQube. I’d probably set aside a chunk of time in the week to play with it instead of effectively studying oneQube. And here I am writing about it because it left such an impression.

That’s gold.

Be your customer’s friend. We’re all in this together FTW.

Anne Reuss

Anne Reuss

Social Media + Content Marketing Specialist
A fitness-fueled digital marketer who wants you to live and market your business with grit. Addicted to adrenaline, pull-ups and social media, she's also Deaf, which has only taught her to listen abnormally well. She is a craft beer-loving social marketing manager for 360Connext, a customer experience consulting firm, and a freelance marketing consultant.
Anne Reuss
Anne Reuss

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15 Comments on "Customer Experience: The Next Big Competitive Advantage"


Guest
Andrew McFarland
2 years 2 months ago

For a twist on customer experience, your readers may find it useful to think about how _the memory of_ the customer experience may be more important than the experience itself. Recent post here (with accompanying TED video)… http://bit.ly/WXyxu4

Guest
bowden2bowden
2 years 2 months ago

Anne, you nailed with this, "customer service is reactive and customer experience is proactive." GoodJob!

Guest
Paul Cooley
2 years 2 months ago

Awesome stuff Anne! :)

It really is all about the experience users & customers have. I love you how you mentioned the 404 pages, not many think about that one! :)

Guest
@samfiorella
2 years 2 months ago

It's always been the secret competitive advantage.

Guest
Gettysburg Gerry
2 years 2 months ago

Hi Anne, what resonated with me was your line "Keep the romance alive" I think that unexpected connection for whatever reason is so important. As my latest post talks about, I stay in contact with my clients pretty often, and many times I just share with them something that is relevant to them, just because I was thinking of them. I have come to notice that really appreciate that. I think that experience is the same whether we are talking about customer or client experience. Besides, it's much more fun that way…. as always.. You ROCK my friend…

Guest
@AnneReuss
2 years 2 months ago

PS Only if all men thought that way! Heheh

Guest
@AnneReuss
2 years 2 months ago

Thank you kind sir! It's like dating – you want to go steady with the customer and keep a little of the honeymoon phase alive ;-)